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The Deal Report

The biggest upcoming projects in entertainment

MOVIES

The DR was dreaming about Mission: Impossible 3 last week — it's been five years!! — and so we got all twittery when new helmer J.J. Abrams told us that, after myriad changes to cast and crew, the flick finally might be going places. Literally. Like China. ''To actually be in the countries that we've faked on Alias for four years is such a trip,'' the Alias/Lost creator says of planning his feature directorial debut. Bonus: The sometime composer has been taking a crack at the famous theme song. ''I mean, I should be writing the script, but I'm sitting with my stupid little keyboard playing dun-dun dun-DUN dun-dun. . . .It's just sad.'' No! By the way, it looks like someone else had M:I-3 on the brain: Lindsay Lohan bragged that she'd met with Abrams for a role. J.J. was busy in TV land — it's upfronts, remember — and couldn't be reached for further comment, but reps for Paramount, while confirming the meeting, say Lohan's mission to get cast is, in fact, impossible. . . .Michelle Pfeiffer, MIA on the big screen since 2002's White Oleander, has agreed to star for producer Scott Rudin as a lady with man trouble in Amy Heckerling's upcoming I Could Never Be Your Woman. Fabulous!

TELEVISION

Comedy Central has announced a pilot deal with comic Sarah Silverman, who's already bonding with her creative partners. ''I met with [cocreators] Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab,'' she reports. ''We fell in love and now have an adopted Korean child named Pablo. We're very happy.'' Hey, congratulations!

BOOKS

Apprentice season 1 winner Bill Rancic — along with sister/manager (sisager?) Karen Soenen — has penned Beyond the Lemonade Stand: Starting Small to Make It Big, a business guide for kids that Penguin/ Razorbill will publish Sept. 8. Rancic, who just signed up for another year in Donald Trump's employ, will donate all proceeds to children's charities like Mercy Home for Boys in Chicago. This is great, but is Bill overdoing the workload a bit? ''I've been tired,'' he says with a sigh. ''I try and work hard and do good things for people. Sometimes it catches up with me.'' Just don't let the Donald catch you napping on the job.

Originally posted May 23, 2005 Published in issue #821-822 May 27, 2005 Order article reprints